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Welcome to our Newsletter

 

This month, the big question is, "Should I upgrade my computer or should I buy new?" There are many options and each individual case is different. The article below explains some options. Click Here

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Gregory Walther
Press-F1 Computer Service
 



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Feature Article

   

 

Upgrade or Buy New


When is enough, really enough?  A common question with owning computer equipment is when should you stop putting money into your existing equipment, and when should you just replace it.  Although there are a multitude of conditions and reasons for applying both resolutions to your business or home computer equipment, we will cover a few factors that will assist you in making a better decision when these questions pop up.

How to Determine Your Situation:

The first obstacle to overcome is the ĎNeed it Nowí syndrome.  Quick decisions arenít normally very successful.  You will probably end up regretting your decision.  Proper research needs to be done before you can determine what your technology needs really are.  Take the extra 5 minutes and write a short list of the software you will be using, the functions you will be performing with the system, and the possible external devices you will be connecting, like scanners, digital cameras, printers, and PDA or mobile devices.  This list will help narrow the scope of possible solutions, but more importantly, give you a basis for your purchase and keep you from forgetting important parts to your system.  If you want to go that extra mile, lookup your software on the manufacturerís website to find out what their recommended specifications are to run their software efficiently, or what hardware will work with different Windows versions.

After determining your needs, quickly review what your existing system does and does not provide that you canít live without.  If you are not Ďtechnically savvyí, travel to your local Office Supply retailer, and inquire about components that you can add to your existing system to fill the gaps in your requirements.  Some very inexpensive add-ons can drastically increase the lifespan of your system.  REMEMBER your first obstacle!  Donít make a decision without getting all the details.  Donít let the salesman push you into a new system before you get pricing for the additional components and the cost for the labor to install those components.  Donít be afraid to get a second opinion.  In fact, we urge you to get a second opinion. Call us with any questions you may have.

After gathering your requirements and finding out what add-ons are available, you should immediately be able to see if you Ďneedí a newer computer or if you have the option to upgrade your existing system.  Those of you without the option of add-ons, your work is almost over.  Those of you that have the option of purchasing add-on hardware or upgrading your existing hardware face a slightly more complicated decision.  Donít worry, it really shouldnít be that badÖ

What Should You Get?

Now that you have your requirements and the costs associated with purchasing an upgrade or a new machine, you need to determine how much time you will save by implementing each solution.  Most of the time an upgrade will save you money, butÖ not always.  If the cost of the upgrade is substantial, you will want to more closely compare the costs of a purchasing a new system.  Sometimes you can get a newer system for only a few dollars more than upgrade parts.

Make sure you review your budget to determine what you can afford.  If the money isnít there, then you may have to upgrade your system instead of replacing it, or simply just wait it out.  Most companies need to see that time savings before they consider upgrading or replacing equipment.  You should use this same philosophy for your own purchases, unless, of course, money is not an issue.

A New Computer:

A new computer purchase can certainly be exciting, but your problems donít end with the purchase of a replacement system.  If it is for a home environment, you probably donít have a server to save your data on.  So remember, you still need to get all the data and programs from your old system to your new system.  You can quickly build up hours moving your data and configuring your new system to get it to the way you want it. 

Upgrading or Adding To Your Existing System:

Upgrading components can be very easy and may also be done in less than a day.  Most office stores or electronics stores, will upgrade your equipment while you wait.  Some will even do the upgrade for free, but make sure you get a quote before you have any work performed on your machine.

There are two primary upgrade types: internal and external.  Internal components require you to take the side panel off your system and actually install the new hardware inside the system case.  The equipment will then use the power provided by the case and the cables within.  Most people donít feel comfortable with adding internal upgrades, because they are typically more complicated than just plugging something in.  External upgrades are usually much easier to implement.  Just plug in the power and plug the cable connector into the system.  The harder part can be configuring the component drivers and installing the software to make it operate properly.  External equipment requires casing to protect the device and an AC adapter to provide power which increases the price of the equipment. 

Summary:

Although it may seem to be a complicated process, reviewing and comparing a new system purchase versus a system upgrade really isnít all that bad.  Most businesses canít operate without computers, which means there are many computer users out there.  So, if you want some assistance, donít be afraid to ask. We will be glad to help you make the decision.

 

What to know more about back-ups? Call today.

If you have a particular question or subject in mind, send me a note and I will share some information on the subject. Reader input is the key to a useful newsletter.

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